Jan 23, 2013 3:00am PST
to salter with the mccain campaign in 2008. and i said, why did you guys go the path you did? mark salter? i said, why don't you go ahead and push a bill where somebody worked here for five years. they could go back to mexico. they could apply. and they could come and have legal status. why didn't you go that route? americans would have supported that. he laughed. he said, because the afl-cio opposed it. and the one senator that was constantly at the forefront of opposing that form of immigration reform was a senator from illinois named barack obama. he carried their water on blocking this pathway to citizenship when he was in the senate. the afl-cio put out a press release yesterday talking about the importance of not compromising on citizenship. so the unions themselves -- there are a lot of cross-currents here. the unions themselves don't want an influx of new workers in america, do they? >> no, they don't. that's one of the reasons this organizing for action, jim messina's full-time job is trying to get the union's in line, but it's going to be hard. it's hard on the democratic side. we'
Jan 18, 2013 3:00am PST
've got some congressional numbers. congress, as john mccain likes to say, when congress is at 14% approval rating, they're down to close relatives and paid staff. >> i want to find the 14%. >> friends and family, that's all. >> 81% disapprove. and then on the republican party, 49% have a negative view of the republican party. just 26% positive. that's their highest negative number since back in 2008, the year president obama first got elected. democrats not doing much better, but better, 38% view the democratic party negatively. so gene, the president's had a pretty good time politically since the election. republicans are starting to figure out how to come back. to the extent republicans have leverage in the upcoming talks, particularly on fiscal issues, where do you think their leverage lies given how unpopular they are and how unpopular congress is? >> well, i think they have less leverage than some people think they have. i mean, i think it would be, frankly, another disaster if republicans try to use the debt ceiling, to force dollar-for-dollar budget reductions. i don't see